Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IOU Soulpower

If you weren't at the Kings Go Forth show at Balliceaux tonight, you have my condolences, but please let me tell you what you missed because you're going to rue the day you elected to do anything other than see this amazing ten-piece perform live.

For free, by the way, just to rub it in.

My girlfriend and I arrived at 7 to score the best possible table for viewing and to enjoy a leisurely meal beforehand.

I enjoyed the ribollita free range chicken/peasant bread/cannellini bean/Tuscan kale soup,followed by the Bibb lettuce/buttermilk blue cheese dressing/pickled shallots/crispy Brussels sprouts salad and finally the crispy braised pork belly.

Okay, there were multiple desserts later, but I won't waste your time when there's music to be discussed.

When we'd arrived, the room was mostly full of DJs, most of whom came over to say hi and talk about the show, but as we ate, people began to trickle in and the room picked up energy along the way.

Eventually our evening was complete when our dancing fool of a guy pal arrived to help us eat, drink and funk out.

Best line of the night and possibly the month, although it wasn't his, was "I'm the Watson to your Holmes."

Pretend it's the 70s during the golden age of soul/funk /dance music with multiple vocalists (black, white, Hispanic) to harmonize, two drummers making for non-stop rhythm and a horn section to keep it all moving.

Now transfer that sound to 2010 and try to imagine how amazing it is to hear a band not just replicate that sound, getting the audience dancing and moving, but actually updating it in a purely retro way.

Milwaukee should be very proud to have produced a band with such an R & B pedigree executed by the current generation.

Kudos got to DJ Pari for making Richmond the start of their record-release tour which heads to DC tomorrow, followed by NYC and, and according to the band member I chatted with, even the holy grail of NPR.

Getting to see Kings Go Forth for free on a random Monday night may be the biggest musical gift RVA has gotten in many a moon; I can guarantee you that everyone in that room tonight will have bragging rights for years about having witnessed what we did.

Perched atop a booth back, shaking it non-stop and being sung to from the floor, it just doesn't get much better than that.

Another friend joined me on my booth-top seat and we really did have the best view in the room.

They played for over an hour but the crowd clearly wanted the music to go on.

We all knew we'd never see these guys in a venue so small again. The Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings analogy that several people made is bound to be true.

Dancing away a Monday night to some of the most amazing soul funk we could hope for in this millennium, I gotta say, that's just one more example of why Richmond rocks.

Not that I haven't made that point a hundred times before here, but I'm just sayin'.

You should have been there.


  1. you're killin' me.

  2. I like funk music and haven't yet truly been to Balliceaux (stopped in for last call once). Invite me next time, please?